Church leaders in Uganda have condemned an attack on a pastor who had acid thrown in his face on Christmas Eve, which left his right eye blinded and the side of his face disfigured.
It is being suspected that the attack on Pastor Umar Mulinde of Gospel Life Church in Kampala was due to his conversion from Islam to Christianity. According to New Vision, Mulinde’s father was an Imam, and he came from a strict Muslim family. The pastor was a sheikh before turning to Christianity, a decision which stirred a lot of emotions in his community.
The attack occurred at around 9:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and the pastor was quickly rushed to International Hospital Kampala by church members. The pastor’s condition has since stabilized, and with his wife by his bedside, he was well enough to share details of his ordeal:
“I was attacked by a man who claimed to be a Christian. He called out to me shouting, “pastor, pastor’ and as I turned to see who he was, he poured acid which burnt part of my face,” Mulinde said.
“As I turned away from the attacker, another man poured the liquid on my back and ran away shouting ‘Allah Akbar (God is great).”
The pastor also revealed that he had been getting threats for some time, but did not take them seriously until now.
Leaders from the National Fellowship of Born-Again Pentecostal Churches in Uganda have since come out to ask the government to find those responsible for the acid attack and bring them to justice. The pastors are even ready to hire Scotland Yard to trace the criminals, New Vision reported.
Bishop David Kiganda from the Fellowship branded the incident “an act of terrorism,” and said that more people may be in danger if the government does not act quickly enough to prevent such attacks from happening in the future. He also revealed that a big day and night prayer is scheduled for Dec. 31 in Nakivubo, where worshippers will pray for pastor Milinde and for the end of terrorism acts in Uganda.
Kiganda said: “We have freedom of worship in Uganda and there is no sense condemning somebody who decides to convert to another faith-No God believes in killing his own people.”
He continued: “There is no God who is weak that he needs somebody to kill for him, if God was annoyed with Mulinde’s acts, he would work on him by himself, not other people.”
The bishop made clear, however, that these attacks will not spark panic amongst the Christian community, because they expect to face such persecution for their beliefs.
“Jesus was also hunted and terrorized, we shall not fear persecution because even Paul the Apostle was treated in the same way, though we don’t know who will follow amongst us,” Kiganda explained.